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Old 17-07-2013, 11:48   #16
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
I built an extension to my boarding ladder out of some PVC and dockline that has been working for me for five years now:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: Boarding ladder extension
Use it for every swim.


I am so doing this! Great idea
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Old 17-07-2013, 11:54   #17
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Many of them are very hard on the feet... not a flat enough area. As mentioned you really need a couple of rungs in the water. I've never really found a satisfactory one. shin scrapers, finger mashers... all of them. The nice stainless ones built into a pulpit etc are easy to deply, but those tubular rungs are hell on the feet.
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Old 17-07-2013, 11:56   #18
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Many of them are very hard on the feet... not a flat enough area. As mentioned you really need a couple of rungs in the water. I've never really found a satisfactory one. shin scrapers, finger mashers... all of them. The nice stainless ones built into a pulpit etc are easy to deply, but those tubular rungs are hell on the feet.

For an obscure reason I always wear shoes ... lightweight water shoes. So if I go in the water, my feet are protected. Barefoot sailors should definitely think about the rungs. Also, don't leave that sucker in the water. Barnacles -- even little ones -- no fun to step on.
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Old 17-07-2013, 12:10   #19
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

I have a rope ladder with plastic rungs as a backup to my SS ladder. It is really just a backup for boarding from the dinghy or a launch service. I would hate to try to board from the water using the backup ladder as there are no standoffs. Boarding from the water requires a lot of upper body strength as the lower rungs will swing inboard putting most of my weight on my hand holds.
On my previous boat I had a stern mounted folding ladder, permanently attached to the transom. That ladder had substantial standoffs so climbing was not that difficult (of course I was 15 years younger then). The problem was boarding from the water when a chop was running in the anchorage. The stern would rise and fall with the chop making it difficult to get a foot hold to start the climb.
For my current boat I went with a mid-ship folder ladder by Tops-In-Quality (http://www.svsarah.com/Sarah/Images/Ladder%201.JPG). It was expensive, but it is very sturdy. There are heavy SS metal sleeves that slide over the upper hinges and keep them locked in place. The ladder mounts on a couple of slides on my Genoa track using quick pins.
I much prefer boarding from midships rather than the stern. The main advantage of the stern ladder is it can be permanently attached to the transom. I have to remove my current ladder when under sail. The bottom rung still tends to swing in toward the boat requiring some upper body exertion to get up the first two rungs. After that my weight is fully on the ladder rung and not my hand hold. I have considered adding another set of standoffs just below the water line, but haven't gotten around to it. A few more birthdays and I may find it a necessity.
When at anchor or on a mooring I leave the ladder full deployed. I could leave it partially collapsed, but I feel saver on my 2:00AM piss call knowing I won't have to try to deploy it should I go for a swim.

John
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Old 17-07-2013, 13:52   #20
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I see you have a steel boat... weld some bar rungs on her...
Actually, I have two boats, a 33 foot 1973 fibreglass sloop and a 41 foot 1988 steel cutter. The sloop is the one with the inadequate boarding ladder.

The steel boat will in fact get something appropriately sturdy and foolproof along those lines at the stern (which is particularly high), and at least one "positionable" ladder at the break in the deck for the gates at either side midships.

The fibreglass sloop on the other hand I would prefer not to give a permanent ladder. In Canada, we only swim off the boat about one month a year...although we can fall off six other months, I suppose...
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Old 17-07-2013, 13:54   #21
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
I built an extension to my boarding ladder out of some PVC and dockline that has been working for me for five years now:
THE BIANKA LOG BLOG: Boarding ladder extension
Use it for every swim.
I like that. Ingenious and means you can buy a smaller ladder for fewer $$$ and just extend it as required.

Thanks!
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Old 17-07-2013, 13:58   #22
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Quote:
Originally Posted by jstevens View Post
I have a rope ladder with plastic rungs as a backup to my SS ladder. It is really just a backup for boarding from the dinghy or a launch service. I would hate to try to board from the water using the backup ladder as there are no standoffs. Boarding from the water requires a lot of upper body strength as the lower rungs will swing inboard putting most of my weight on my hand holds.
On my previous boat I had a stern mounted folding ladder, permanently attached to the transom. That ladder had substantial standoffs so climbing was not that difficult (of course I was 15 years younger then). The problem was boarding from the water when a chop was running in the anchorage. The stern would rise and fall with the chop making it difficult to get a foot hold to start the climb.
For my current boat I went with a mid-ship folder ladder by Tops-In-Quality (http://www.svsarah.com/Sarah/Images/Ladder%201.JPG). It was expensive, but it is very sturdy. There are heavy SS metal sleeves that slide over the upper hinges and keep them locked in place. The ladder mounts on a couple of slides on my Genoa track using quick pins.
I much prefer boarding from midships rather than the stern. The main advantage of the stern ladder is it can be permanently attached to the transom. I have to remove my current ladder when under sail. The bottom rung still tends to swing in toward the boat requiring some upper body exertion to get up the first two rungs. After that my weight is fully on the ladder rung and not my hand hold. I have considered adding another set of standoffs just below the water line, but haven't gotten around to it. A few more birthdays and I may find it a necessity.
When at anchor or on a mooring I leave the ladder full deployed. I could leave it partially collapsed, but I feel saver on my 2:00AM piss call knowing I won't have to try to deploy it should I go for a swim.

John
Good advice and good experience. I may have to go in this direction as I really prefer a midship over a transom boarding. My transom is a touch IOR and is both reversed and not over large. Something on the genoa track or the toerail makes considerably more sense...as long as it can be perpendicular to the hull and not want to veer inwards...

Thanks to all commentators. I appreciate the feedback.
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Old 17-07-2013, 13:59   #23
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

For a single step up from a low dock or a dinghy we have one of those ca. 8"x8" plastic steps suspended on about 1/2" line at the four coners. These are adjustable and can be suspended from stantion bases, rails or other lines. They are in a number of marine catalogs. These steps are not suitable for getting out of the water, but they can be a needed additional step.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:14   #24
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

I know its a bit off topic to the op but, we like the fender step. We were going to buy one but at the time they had delam issues.

Hope they got it fixed, great idea.
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Old 17-07-2013, 15:25   #25
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

I have one for the steel boat...it's a good thing if you get it on sale. No problems as of yet. Not good for boarding from the water, however...
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Old 17-07-2013, 16:01   #26
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

Here's an interesting idea I saw on another forum. I'm going to give a try on my kk38. Build a platform that hangs off the transom and is tied to the stern rail , a platform perhaps 18"x30". Sort of like a removable swim platform. I may design mine to also function as a backrest at the helm. Maybe even have a second step.
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Old 17-07-2013, 16:52   #27
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

This my solution to the problem with OP's ladder (at least the early version - no photos of the later mods, but can get the basic idea).

This is a flat fender, cut down and a couple of holes drilled for the ladder legs (which still reach the hull side).

The fender is tied on but no weight on the lines when ladder in use. The big improvement is that when the ladder gets a nudge from the dink that it does not fold anymore. I don't think it puts any greater stress on the ladder, but I ain't as fat as some!








Been using it this way for 3 or 4 years.

Putting the fender on the ladder is a 2 handed operation, but only a few seconds - removing can be done one handed whilst standing up in a dink and smoking a ciggie Apart from the ladder being tied on, it also now floats .
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Old 17-07-2013, 19:50   #28
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

That fender idea is genius. One of the little protective covers for the metal pegs vanished so I was going to have to fab something. I'll unscrew them and strap a fender to it.
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Old 17-07-2013, 20:07   #29
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

my schooner family uses a fender step and i can use it from kayak to schooner deck, no problem..

i used to use a stainless folding hook over toe rail kind of ladder--left it down when in particular anchorages.
no one comes to my boat uninvited.
we did have an issue one morning with a swimmer in the lagoon --- he was trying every anchored boat for access. if it is too easy fro me to board, then it is also easy for someone else uninvited to board ..think about it.

now i use a wood and bronze ladder more appropriate to my boat. it does hang too far down and some is in water continuously, the ladder is tied to solid part of my boat, and is easy to board and disembark into kayak using this ladder. i love it. i only use it when i can kayak. when i row i do not use a ladder.
i pull my pretty wood ladder onto coach house roof at night.
i have rope ladder as back up--i like this--have used a home made rope loop ladder for over 10 yrs. they are easy to use and easy to make from one length of line--uses solid parts of boat for strength. this is not an obvious ladder.
i also have a cat ladder for bubba...it is only able to carry small load before it self destructs.

i go barefoot and have prehensile toes.


try crutch tips for ladder repairs for those missing end bits ...the crutch tips are available in every drug store and walmart. easy peasy
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Old 17-07-2013, 22:12   #30
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Re: A Better Boarding Ladder

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Originally Posted by rtbates View Post
A good boarding ladder needs to be ALWAYS ready and deployable from the water. Ours uses a line that can be yanked from the water to allow the ladder to drop down. As an often single hander I find it comforting.
this is what I have also and would not have it any other way. I have a slip knot rigged for easy deployment at neck deep.
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